Category Archives: a short story by Dorlana

Short Story (Dark Fantasy) Inspired by The Little Mermaid

This short story was originally published in the online fairy tale magazine, Enchanted Conversation . It is included in my fairy tale inspired paranormal short story collection: Supernatural Fairy Tales.

His Soul Inspiration
by Dorlana Vann

“Have you read this?” My husband, Philip, held the book of fairy tales I had bought from a used bookstore for my niece’s ninth birthday.

“Well, not that one, but I’ve read fairy tales before,” I said as I shut the door and stepped out of my heels.

He shook the hardback of nearly 500 pages. “Not like these.”

“Yeah, sure I have. ‘The Ugly duckling,’ ‘The Emperor’s New Suit,’ ‘The Little Mermaid’…”

“Right-right-right. These are them, but not like the ones I’m sure you’re thinking of. They’re not all fairy princesses and happy endings. They’re darker, full of hardship and pain and broken hearts.”

“All right,” I said. His excitement confused me because it didn’t match what I thought he was saying. “Do you think I should take it back and get Emily something else?”

“No. I mean, yes, you should get Emily something else. But no, don’t take this back.”

I scratched my head. “Are you okay?”

“I’m more than okay—I’m terrific!” He set the book down on the couch, wrapped his arms around me, and twirled us around. As he put me down, an amused smirk transformed into a wide smile and huge eyes. “The Little Mermaid!” he exclaimed.

Philip had been having a rough year, trying to find his inspiration to paint. This sudden strangeness made me queasy, and I was a little surprised that he had cracked before I had. Not that I didn’t respect his work, goals, and dreams, it’s just that I had some of my own. And working two jobs to support a starving artist had never been my plan.

 He had picked up the book again and was flipping through it when I decided to go run a bubble bath.

 “Syrena, here it is. I want to read this to you right fast.”

 “I’m really tired. I just want to go soak in the tub.”

“Please…. This is it. This is what I need to get me out of this slump. Please, just listen and see.”

 I sighed as softly as I could manage and took my place beside him on the couch. He began to read: “The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson… Far out in the ocean, where the water is as blue as the prettiest cornflower, and as clear as crystal, it is very, very deep…”

“Well, it’s definitely different than the Disney version,” I said after he had finished reading the tale. “I didn’t realize it was so sad.”

“Anything else?” He asked slowly.

I shook my head and shrugged.

“Her skin was as clear and delicate as a rose-leaf, and her eyes as blue as the deepest sea,” he quoted. “And she wrapped herself in her long, thick hair.”

“I’m sorry, Philip. I’m tired. I’m not getting what you’re getting at. Just tell me.”

“It’s you! You have to be my model.” His eyes sparkled, and he looked so happy, happier than I had seen him in a long time. I even felt a tinge of exhilaration myself. It had been awhile since he had asked me to model for him.

 “Okay.” I smiled. “Mermaids are topless, right?”

 He danced his eyebrows up and down. “You betcha.”

 “It sounds like fun. Saturday morning, I’m all yours.”

 “No, no, no. Now.” He stood up and held his hand out to me.

 “Now?” I whined.

 “I can’t take the chance of losing this, this feeling.”

 After a few seconds of staring into his imploring but loving eyes, I agreed by taking his hand and letting him lead me to the studio/guest room/home office. A few of his paintings hung on the walls: abstracts from his college years, pencil drawings sketched when we were on vacation at the beach, and one of me when we first met. The evening really made me think of that time, when he was so vigorous and full of dreams. When his passion oozed from his fingertips, and he saw the world differently than anybody I had ever met before; he noticed colors before shapes and talked in hues and aura, like others talked current events.

 It didn’t take him long to put me in position: on the floor leaning on my elbow, legs out beside me, and my hair down and draped over the front of me like a mermaid’s. I knew he was in his zone, no longer seeing me, but seeing through me and to my spirit.

“Beautiful.” He took his place behind the easel and white canvas.

Unable to see his face, only his arm as it gently followed the hand holding the paint brush, I knew not to talk, not to disturb him as he created the new, improved me. However, after what felt like hours, my mouth began to dry. I needed water. Surely, he would understand that I needed a little break—I opened my mouth to tell him, but my tongue was completely limp, and I couldn’t even swallow. The silly words from the story came to mind: “Then she cut off the mermaid’s tongue, so that she became dumb, and would never again speak or sing.”

 Trying to laugh at the thought, I felt a strange pinch in the middle of my stomach. An involuntary grunt finally came from my throat, and when I realized I could make this sound, I tried to get Philip’s attention, but he didn’t hear me—too focused in his work.

 I squeezed my eyes open and shut, trying to clear the buzzing that had begun in my head. And then I saw it…. waves of color beamed from me to Philip’s swooping arm. At first I thought it was the result of the light bulbs and my blinking, but it didn’t go away. It was dark outside, so there was no sun playing with the window’s glass. These streams of gold and red and blue were coming from me.

Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain run up my arm, and it couldn’t hold me up any longer. I collapsed. “…and it seemed as if a two-edged sword went through her delicate body: she fell into a swoon, and lay like one dead…” I thought Philip would soon look at me and tell me to sit up—but minutes passed, and he never glanced away from the canvas. The pain moved down to my legs and so did the beams of colorful light. “…she felt as if treading upon the points of needles or sharp knives.”

 As I grew weaker, my confusion faded. It became clear that if I didn’t get Philip’s attention, I would die, which promptly turned into: if I don’t stop Philip, I will die. “Haste, then; he or you must die before sunrise.”

 I pushed my torso up with wobbly arms, every muscle burning. I couldn’t feel my legs at all. “She has given us a knife: here it is, see it is very sharp. Before the sun rises you must plunge it into the heart of the prince; when the warm blood falls upon your feet… return to us to live.” I remembered the scissors on my desk behind me. I loudly grunted as I reached and grabbed them, dropping immediately back down. I lay there, time passing until I was able to pull myself by plunging the scissors into the carpet and using them as a means to move across the floor.

 With each breath, my lungs tightened as if the air itself was poison. I coughed and gagged, but still Philip did not stir. Finally, I lay beside him at his easel, taking a moment to gather some strength. The hand that held the scissors ached and so did my heart at the thought of what I had to do to survive. I used the rest of my might to pull myself up, leaning on my left hand, and brought the weapon behind my head with my right.

 When I shifted my view, the painting came into focus. It was complete, save for the sun. Philip dipped his brush into the yellow and orange mixture, and I examined The Little Mermaid, letting the scissors fall behind me as I marveled at her beauty. She was alive. This painting was Philip’s dream, his life’s work… his masterpiece.

 Easing the brush away from the bright sun, Philip whispered, “Finished,” as I fell into soft darkness…

 “…and then mounted with the other children of the air to a rosy cloud that floated through the aether.”

 

The End

 

Supernatural Fairy Tales

Supernatural Fairy Tales by Dorlana Vann

 

His Soul Inspiration is one of the stories from my fairy tale inspired paranormal short story collection: Supernatural Fairy Tales. .99 cent eBook available at Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TBT Short Story: The Gift (Inspired by The Ghost of Christmas Past)

Before I started writing my short story, The Gift, I knew the inspiration: The Ghost of Christmas Past from “A Christmas Carol” the genre: western with a touch of steampunk, and I even knew how I wanted it to end. But I was stuck, stalled right at the beginning. So my daughter suggested that I write it backward. So I did. I started with “The End” and wrote the entire rough draft, line by line, in reverse order. I totally recommend this – maybe not for every story – it was a lot of fun and a creative challenge.

I’m not sure of the date, but I published the short story collection, Supernatural Fairy Tales, in 2011 so I do know that I wrote it before 2010. I should have the date written down around here somewhere …

And Speaking of gifts, I am giving away the eBook with the following short story and eight other on Amazon from December 4 – 8, 2015 (I know, I know, you were hoping for cash :) )

Love and Laughter and Merry Christmas,

Dorlana

The Gift

by Dorlana Vann

Paris, Texas 1873

 

At first Cynthia was afraid to look out the window. She was afraid she would see the ghostly figure out by the horses again, stirring them up, making them run and complain. But she was expecting someone; she had to look.

The speck of hope that the person riding up the path was her husband immediately died away. The man hunched over and rode at a steady pace, like he had all the time in the world. The sudden ominous sorrow she felt was overwhelming.

Cynthia moved away from the window and began removing the supper dishes from the table. As soon as she had set them down, a loud knocking erupted. She smoothed her dress and touched her hair, wishing she had put it up instead of the bowls, and opened the door.

The stranger’s head was down, showing the top of his brown hat.  He was tall and broad shouldered and dirty.  Pistols hung on both sides of his hips. When he raised his head, the smell of whiskey came with each noisy breath. He squinted into the light. “Ma’am, I’m looking for Tommy Two Shot.”

Thomas isn’t here.”

The man frowned and then spit out the side of his mouth, saliva hitting the porch. “Is that so? Well then, when ya expecting him?”

The only reason she didn’t reconsider her decision to ask for his help was because she was more afraid of the ghost than she was of the stranger. Besides, no one, who knew Tommy, would dare harm his wife. “Mr. Stockton? I’m Mrs. Thomas Garrison. I’m the one who sent for you. Please, come in.”

He wiped his feet, removed his hat and walked into the house but didn’t stop very far past the door. He cautiously examined the room, looking to the fireplace, table, and chairs.

“Daddy! Daddy!” Mary and Annie ran into the room but stopped when they saw the stranger.

A flush of embarrassment raced up Cynthia’s face. “No girls. It’s a friend of your Father’s.”

Mr. Stockton asked, “Where is ol’ Tommy Two—”

“We don’t use that name in our home,” Cynthia said quickly.

He glanced at the girls and nodded. “My mistake ma’am. I mean, where is Mr. Garrison?”

“Girls… go on back to bed now. Annie, help your sister.”

The girls did as they were told and soon Cynthia was alone with the stranger. “Please have a seat.”

When the man sat down, his guns clanked against the chair.

“I’m going to get straight to the point, Mr. Stockton.” She placed a kettle into the fire, moving a stocking that hung from the mantle out of her way. “I have a problem. You see, after my husband left on a business trip…”

“Uh huh.”

“… I’ve had a visitor that I need to get rid of.”

“Killin’ ain’t my specialty.”

“I know.” She turned around and peered at the filthy man who sat across from her. She considered her words carefully, but at the last minute decided it wasn’t the time to beat around the bush. “I don’t need a killer. My husband told me what you do. I need someone who can get rid of a ghost.”

“He told you about that, huh?”

“He told me you had a special ability of some kind.”

“Are you sure it’s a ghost and not some coyote or raccoon? That’s happened before.”

“I’ve seen it out by the horses. It ain’t no coyote. It’s shaped like a man, but I can see right through it. It rattles the horses, scares them silly, and just as it turns its head to look at me… I turn away and hide. I’m afraid if it sees me it’ll come inside. I don’t want it coming inside, Mr. Stockton.” The kettle whistled, and she jumped.

“I’m not sure what your husband told you, ma’am, but I can’t get rid of the devil if that’s what you got. I’ve had a lot of folks wanting me to get rid of the devil.” He laughed and shook his head. “You see, I’m kind of what you call an interpreter. All’s I can do is listen.”

She poured him a cup of coffee and carried it to him, the coffee spilling a little from her shaky hands.

“You have a mighty fine home, Mrs. Garrison.” He took a sip of his coffee. “Real clean.”

The compliment made her feel uncomfortable. The way they lived, always on the move, they didn’t have things like other people, so there was nothing to make things untidy. Sometimes they lived in hotels in town, but it was worse when they had to stay with “friends.” She was grateful that this time they had found an old abandoned house out on the prairie—at least that was what her husband had told her. She didn’t question why it had furniture and a nice fence.

He looked around, nodding. He pointed to the fireplace with his hat. “February is a little late to still have your Christmas up.”

“Shhh. I’m waiting on Thomas so that we can have Christmas as a family,” she whispered. “The girls don’t know Christmas is over. They shouldn’t have to wait much longer. Thomas will be back any minute now.” After the stranger nodded, his eyebrow up, and clicked his tongue, Cynthia stared down at the floor—She knew he didn’t believe her, and she didn’t really have a choice but be straight with him.  “I really don’t know when he’ll be back… I don’t have any money. I swear as soon as he does return…”

“A hot meal would do fine.”

Cynthia cooked. Even though she had to use the remainder of the breakfast food, she wasn’t too worried. Thomas had played it close before but always returned right before all the supplies were depleted. She smiled and thought maybe this was a sign that he would be home soon.

After Cynthia put a plate on the table in front of Mr. Stockton, he dug in like he hadn’t had a meal in a while. She turned away when he started sopping up the eggs with the biscuits, the yellow dripping down his chin as he talked. “I was given this machine by a feller down in San Francisco. Sorta payment for a debt he owed me. I’ve had it for twenty-some-odd years. It’s never failed me. It brings ‘em out all right, and I can hear ‘em. I can’t talk to ’em, but I can hear ‘em through that machine. Don’t ask me how the dang thing works, cause I don’t know…”

Cynthia wanted to believe that he would be able to help. But what he was saying seemed impossible. Perhaps it had been a mistake. Perhaps Mr. Stockton was crazier than a mad dog and what Thomas had told her about him that night had been a joke, maybe just drunk talk. She shook her head for being such a hypocrite… most folks would probably think she was crazy, too, for seeing a ghost.

After Mr. Stockton finished his meal and after Cynthia checked on the girls, they walked outside and stood on the front porch.

Mr. Stockton walked from his horse, which was hitched to the porch, to the steps carrying a strange apparatus in his hands. It was round and made of a shiny metal. It reminded Cynthia of a compass. He pulled at a thin stick that came out of the top of it, and it seemed to grow. A strange noise resounded from the thing: a mix of frogs and unknown insects after a heavy rain.

He held it in the palm of his hand and put his arm way up high in the air, walking out into the sandy yard. “If there’s a ghost out here, this will detect it.”

She eased her way down the steps and followed him toward the fenced-in horses.

“Over here, right?” Mr. Stockton asked. “You saw it over here?”

The little machine lit up. Cynthia put her hand over her mouth and looked at Mr. Stockton.

Mr. Stockton nodded, acknowledging her unspoken question.

Like a flash of lightning on a black night, a sudden bright light shook Cynthia to the core. The figure of a man she had watched night after night through her window stood directly in front of her, but this time it was close enough that if she were to reach out, she could have touch him… and close enough that she couldn’t deny what she saw. Cynthia whimpered and her head swooned.

It was Thomas, her husband. He hadn’t come home for Christmas because he wasn’t coming home at all. He was dead.

Thomas didn’t seem to notice them. He walked by and through the gate, as if it didn’t exist. The horses began to move about. He looked over at the house and sighed. The little needle on the machine started twitching and then madly rotated around and around.  His faint voice came out of the machine. “I hope this will be the last time I gotta leave y’all.” In the next instant, the ghost of Thomas (Tommy Two Shot) Garrison disappeared.

Cynthia’s body shook, her worst fear realized in that second. How many times had she worried he wouldn’t come back home? How many times had she worried he would be killed? However, mourning would have to wait. She was now the only one responsible for her family. She wiped hard at her tears, and stood tall. She pressed her lips together before clearing her throat, and through a restrained sob said, “Good bye, Thomas.”

“Are y’all going to be okay?”

“We’ll be fine.” Cynthia gave a confident nod, even though she knew living without a husband would be more difficult than living on the run with an outlaw. “Thank you, Mr. Stockton.”

Mr. Stockton climbed on his horse and tipped his hat. “Ma’am.”  He rode away toward the moon, his saddlebags carrying the same as when he arrived and a trail of dust the only thing he left behind.

Cynthia knew she wouldn’t be afraid if she saw her husband’s ghost again. However, she had a feeling he had left for good, that he’d only come home long enough to give her a Christmas gift: she could stop waiting for him to return. Even though it was one a.m., she went to the room and gently shook Annie and Mary. “Wake up,” she whispered. “It’s Christmas.”

The End

Supernatural Fairy Tales

Supernatural Fairy Tales by Dorlana Vann

Short story for Halloween: Hell’s Kitchen

 This is one of my stranger short stories from some years back, and I thought it would be fun to post it for Halloween. It’s a dark, quirky, moody tale of two men who walk a fine line between good/evil, sanity/madness. 

Hell’s Kitchen

By Dorlana Vann

Part I – The Body

I watched as a guy in a dark suit dug up Beatrice Beaumont Virgil, April 5, 1965 – August 19, 1998. Funeral flowers still fresh, dirt still moist, Until we meet again her epitaph.

I stood in the shadows and dared to watch a moment longer before deciding I would just make note of his car license on my way out. If I had to say, I would guess his height as six feet and give him a generous build of medium. And I would only use this information if there were questions. Otherwise, I’d rather my secret after-hours visits stayed my secret.

As I turned to leave, the moody clouds drifted, allowing the full moon to tattle. I limped away as fast as I could, but my bad knee had started acting up again. I could only hope I was far enough to seem a ghost. Just as I began to breathe, I heard the man shout, “Hey you… stop!”

A gun fired; the bullet ricocheted off the tombstone next to me. I stopped.

“Now, get over here,” he said. “Slowly.”

As I approached the grave-site, I could see that he had dug about halfway down into the grave. He held a shovel in his right hand and a gun in his left. “You’re not going to run are you?” he asked. His appearance seemed rather ordinary— until our eyes met. I’m not easily spooked, but his keen stare alarmed the hair on the back of my neck.

“No,” I said.

He tucked the gun into his pants and then threw me the shovel. “Start digging.”

I dropped the shovel down into the thigh-deep hole and grunted as I followed it inside.

“What are you doing out here this time of night?” he said as he sat down and wiped his brow.

“I’m the groundskeeper.”

“That’s strange. I did my homework; there are no employees at night.”

“I’m not supposed to be here either.” The shovel sank into the dirt easily enough, but my muscles complained when I started shoveling it out of the hole.

“Hmm,” he said. “So, what are you doing here?”

“It’s peaceful at night.”

“So you work here… and come here to hang out? Kind of an eerie guy. But I suppose the right kind… if one has to exhume a body.”

I kept digging, and the man kept watching until the shovel caused a clunking noise.

“All right,” he said. He sat with his legs dangling over the side of the hole. “Now start digging on the sides so we can open my treasure chest.”

When I had finished my task, the man jumped in beside me. It took quite a few hard pushes before we finally had the lid all the way open.

I generally have to be content with a mental image of my residents—unless their loved ones are kind enough to leave me a picture—I couldn’t help but comb my hair with my fingers to tidy up a bit before I met her.

Her long blonde hair flowed gracefully over her petite shoulders. Rosy cheeks and ruby lips highlighted powdered fair skin. “Beautiful.”

POW! I felt the deafening discharge from my fingers to my toes. Beatrice received a bullet hole in the middle of her forehead. I had stopped breathing.

“Hmm,” the grave robber said. “Grab her arms.”

“What?”

It took him aiming his weapon at me before I comprehended the instructions.

“Grab her arms. I’ll get her feet.”

Heavier than she looked, the first attempts at getting her out of the grave were grotesque. I wanted to lay her back in her bed, fold her arms back across her body… smooth her hair.

Finally, we had her in a somewhat normal position lying in the grass next to her assumed final resting place.

My dilated eyes absorbed a sudden explosion of light. When I regained my vision, I realized the man was snapping pictures.

I couldn’t withhold my curiosity a moment longer. It had fused together with fear and sympathy for Beatrice and formed a knot in the pit of my stomach. “I do realize that this is none of my business, and I really shouldn’t be asking you anything, but…”

“I don’t off chicks,” he said. His chest heaved in and out, just like mine.

“Excuse me?”

“That’s why I’m doing this. That was your question … right?”

I nodded.

He pulled a flask out of his jacket, put it to his mouth, and took a drink. Surprisingly, he handed it to me. As the unexpected bland taste of the pure water quenched my dry tongue, he spoke, “Some asshole hired me to kill a woman. This is just what I do when I’m put in the situation.”

I swallowed hard. The liquid felt like a tank going down my throat. The man standing beside me murdered people for money. And he’d said I was the creepy one … “So you’re going to pretend that Beatrice is the woman you were supposed to kill?”

“Beatrice,” he said and stared down at her. “They don’t want them at their doorstep. All I need is proof. I did a lot of obituary searching to find her. Same facial features, hair color, age.”

“What about the real girl?”

“She’s on a plane as we move our lips.”

We stood there for a moment: the atmosphere thick with the smell of death and the moonlight animating tree shadows across Beatrice’s face.

“So, why did someone want her dead?” I asked.

“Don’t know … didn’t ask.”

I nodded.

“Let’s get her back down,” he said.

The chore of replacing her didn’t take as long as excavating her had, but I hated our method. We just dropped her in.

We climbed in after and put her back in the casket. Except for the bullet hole and the dirt in her hair, she looked like she did before we disturbed her. I said my goodbyes and shut the lid.

When I looked up at the assassin, his jaw was tense and his eyes and gun were focused on me. He said, “You know, I have to kill you now.”

I stopped to inhale the earthy air, to scratch my nose, and to think about my new home with Beatrice Virgil’s address. Until we meet again, my epitaph. “Yeah,” I said. “I know.”

Part II – The Revenge

John knew the old saying: Revenge is a dish best served cold. But he had to disagree. Because this time, his revenge would be cooked and served sizzling hot.

Being the cook for the Beaumont family had definitely been hell, and it seemed as if he had already worked for them an eternity. When he saw his murderer, standing there on the auction block, another saying seemed right on: What goes around comes around.

New arrivals went straight to the auction house. Both demon and H.S.L. (Human Soul Laborers) bought souls for a variety of reasons—the juicier the more they cost. John’s assassin was already up to a stellar price.

The red demon auctioneer had the whole house animated with energy. He was saying, “This soul here has no moral backbone. He killed over fifty men. He’s a thief, a cheater, and a murderer. Do I hear seventy-five….”

When John held up his auction paddle, his assassin looked him in the eyes. John remembered the last time their eyes met. The next thing he knew, he was in hell, standing exactly where this guy stood now. John had committed minor sins in comparison to murder, so buying him to eat would have been like buying a sickly, skinny cow. Not worth eating.

John had been purchased as an H.S.L. by one of the more prestigious demon families. Some souls were bought for pulling wagons, for building roads, for housewives, for…dinner. He understood how lucky he had been that he knew how to cook. His duties included buying groceries at the auction house.

He didn’t win the bid on his murderer just for pleasure; he would also make a fine meal. The Beaumonts planned to have a dinner party for twenty guests. John purchased two other plump souls as well.

When John arrived back at his kitchen, he put the three men into his tall, refrigerated cage. They needed to be fresh. Much longer out in the heat, and they would have been tough. He himself had developed skin close to the texture of leather. He hadn’t lived in Hell long enough to figure it all out, but he reckoned all the demons started out looking the way the human souls did, but in time they adapted to the atmosphere, causing their crimson, rutted skin.

Once John shut the cage, the hit man said, “Funny meeting you here.”

“So, you do remember me.”

“I never forget a face.”

“Of someone you killed or just in general?” John reached in a drawer and pulled out his knife sharpener. He wanted to give this guy the full treatment. At that moment, if he had ever wondered before, he recognized one of the major reasons for his descent. He kept deep hatred in his heart. Hmmm. He began to grind the knife across the sharpener.

His murderer said, “What are you doing here?”

“I’m about to make dinner.”

“I mean, in the hole. I never characterized you for a sinner.”

“We all have our sins. It’s the people who realize it too late that end up down here.”

At this, the hitman nodded his head. “So, what are you making?”

The two other men in the cage looked downright terrified. John looked down at his knife. No matter what kind of show he put on for his murderer, this wouldn’t be any easier than any other meal.

He inhaled and then nodded his head over to the man standing to the right of the murderer. “Leg of Sam,” he said. He glanced at the next guy, “Barbecued ribs.” He looked directly into the hit man’s eyes. “And roasted pig.”

“You don’t have to be so nasty. Just making conversation.”

“Perhaps we should save the small talk for the guests.” Meals had always just stood in the cage awaiting their fate. Once in awhile one would sing or one would cry, but never did he actually have to talk to one before he prepared it.

“For what it’s worth,” his murderer said. “I apologize. I was just doing my job.”

John thought about this for a moment. He wondered if he would have repented if given more time. If he had not been killed at that moment, would it have caused a different finale? He doubted it. Just doing my job. “All right,” he finally said. “I’ll accept your apology. I have an apology of my own.”

“I suppose you do,” the man said.

John said, “You know, I have to cook you now.”

“Yeah,” the hitman said, “I know.”

The End

Short Story: The Vampire’s New Suit + Free EBook

supernatural fairy tales bannerThe following short story inspired by The Emperor’s New Clothes,  is one of the short stories from my collection: Supernatural Fairy Tales. The Kindle eBook will be Free August 5, 2014. 

Fairy tale inspired paranormal short stories.

fairy tale + paranormal element = supernatural fairy tale.

These 9 Supernatural Fairy Tales are not retellings of the original fairy tales but were inspired by them. They are paranormal themed stories about vampires, ghosts, mermaids, witches, and more, in genres ranging from romance to thriller. And fair warning: they don’t always have a happy ending.

 

The Vampire’s New Suit

by Dorlana Vann

His apartment was on the top floor of a tall apartment building. Everyone knew he was a vampire, so no one would have bothered him even if he had been on the very bottom. That was why he found it strange when he heard the knock. After opening the door, he asked, “May I help you?” but thought: magnificent—take-out delivered to my door.

“Excuse us, Mr. Smith,” said the first young man of two, “for dropping by unannounced, but you’re not listed.”

“There is a reason for this,” the vampire said.

The second young man said, “I’m Mark, and this is my partner, Trey.” He held out his hand graciously and, without a mere tremble, he shook the resident’s hand.

Intrigued, Smith sought to connect with the gentleman’s eyes. When he avoided this with skill, the vampire couldn’t help but grin, something he hadn’t done for centuries. “Perhaps you have happened upon the wrong doorstep,” he said, only because he liked them.

Trey cleared his throat and also avoided Smith’s stare, except with less sincerity. “We’re new to town; however, we do know… who you are.”

Mark said, “We believe we offer a service that may very well interest you and benefit your particular situation.”

“Hmm,” Mr. Smith said. “Is that right? Well, in that case, do come in.” It had been a long time since the vampire had guests—that were alive at any rate—and he found that he was quite enjoying the change of pace. Suddenly the mundane lifestyle that he had become accustomed to became clear: sleep, eat, and watch TV. He had been doing the latter before the interruption and used the remote to click off the early evening news. “Please, have a seat,” he told the boys. “I’m afraid I do not have any refreshments… that you would enjoy.” He couldn’t ignore the sudden sound of Trey’s heart as it pumped a refreshment of its own. He licked his lips, knowing the evening could only get better.

“Mr. Smith,” Mark said, clearly noticing the look of desire in the vampire’s eyes. “Perhaps we should come back another time?”

“Don’t be silly,” the vampire said. “There is no better time. Perhaps you should state your business.”

“Of course,” Mark said, pulling Trey down beside him as he sat on the couch. “Our company, of which Trey here is a new recruit, provides a unique service to, shall I say, our nocturnal clients. We understand and sympathize with the fact that you are a prisoner in your home from sun-up to sundown. We have developed a fabric that is solar and flame resistant but extremely lightweight. We design and produce clothing made of these exclusive materials.” Mark reached inside his bag and pulled out a black swatch. Handing it to the vampire he said, “This is the most popular with our clients, but we do offer many different colors. All we need to get started are your measurements. As you can imagine, this discreet service is not cheap. It’s company policy to receive half…” he stopped when it seemed he had lost his audience.

The vampire had walked into his modest kitchen and turned on the stove. After all, he wasn’t born yesterday. He put the little piece of fabric over the flame. Nothing happened. He was impressed, already imagining the possibilities. The thought of walking outside during the day after so many, many years was very enticing.

The young men took out their tailor tools, a small catalog, and more fabric samples. In no time, Mr. Smith had chosen a dark gray, pinstriped suit with a high collar, black gloves, and a hat complete with ear and neck coverings.

As the weeks passed, the vampire actually became fidgety. He thought about all of the wonderful things he would be able to do during the day. He could even do lunch—if he were to be so bold.

He began to amuse himself as he pondered curious things that didn’t have to do with feeding. He wouldn’t have to hide in shadows. Maybe he would see a matinée. He could walk among the mortals, saying, “Good afternoon.” He picked up the catalog the young men had left behind. He thought that next time, he might even buy khaki. He would almost be… human.

Finally, the knock came at the door.

Mark held up a black garment bag. “I have your new suit,” he said with a smile.

The vampire moved out of the way and let him enter the apartment. “Where is your friend?”

“Trey told me he had a previous engagement,” he said and then winked. “Between us, I think he’s a little afraid that you no longer need us.” After giving the vampire ample time to answer, Mark said, “You know, I am your personal tailor, and the only way to get more of these, is through me.” He put the bag on the couch and unzipped it. He pulled out a handsome, well-tailored suit.

It was just like the one in the catalog. Mr. Smith couldn’t hold back his excitement and snatched it out of Mark’s hands.

Mark winced from the sudden pain the vampire’s nails had caused. The amicable mood immediately transformed into intense as they both looked at his hand, the red blood slowly escaping its safe haven.

For the first time, the vampire caught and held Mark’s stare. It was so unexpected and so challenging that it seduced the vampire into wanting to win. It had been a long time since he had fought such a tough challenger. But of course, the mortal was no match in the end.

The vampire dropped the suit, catching Mark before he hit the carpet and carefully placed him on the couch. He grinned, his fangs hungering for the taste of such a satisfying victory. Nevertheless, he looked down at his new clothes. The young man would be out for a while, plenty of time for him to try out his new suit.

Although the vampire had acquired quite a wardrobe over the centuries, he had never felt the likes of the material that was against his body. It was soft, like silk, yet form-fitting. He wished he could see himself in a mirror. He settled with knowing he would be able to analyze the expressions on people’s faces. Even though the glare of terror so pleased him, he was anxious to see a new look in their eyes; one of awe and admiration. Complete with gloves and hat, he walked out his door.

***

“Wake up sleepy head.”

It took Mark a moment to stop his dream and to realize he was asleep. He opened his eyes, took in a panicked breath, and sat straight up. When he clearly remembered his predicament, he hastily felt his neck.

Trey stood over him with his arms crossed. “You’re clear. Even if I am a rookie, I know the rules. If he had bitten you, you wouldn’t have woken up.”

Mark nodded, feeling truly foolish. In all his years of being a slayer, he had never allowed himself to be hypnotized by one of them. “Mission complete?”

“Poof,” Trey said, his eyes wide with excitement. “You should have seen him. Oh, that’s right; you decided to take a nap. Anyway, it only took him a second to trust the suit before strolling down the sidewalk like a man about town. When I realized you weren’t right behind him, I knew what I had to do. But don’t worry; I waited, like you taught me, until he hit the mark. I was shaking so bad, but I managed to grab the pull tag before he even noticed me. But when he did see me, he knew something was rotten and went for my throat. I ducked and ran like hell. What a rush! When I was far enough away and got the nerve to turn around, I saw him still standing in the same spot with nothing on but a frown. But then a second later…” Trey had his fist up by his face. He popped his hands open wide and whispered, “pooffff.”

“Did you gather the catalog and the rest of the money?”

“Yeah, all right here.” Trey held up a white envelope. “You know, I still don’t understand why we just don’t clean them out.”

“I’m not in this for the money. I only charge what is needed to fund our operation. Otherwise, we could turn into the bloodsuckers.” Mark stood up, still feeling a little woozy. “Speaking of bloodsuckers, who’s next on our list?”

“Female,” Trey said. “What I hear is that she’s really young-looking, smart, and smokin’ hot. Hmm… I don’t know. We may have a problem, seeing as you let this repulsive ancient dude—”

“Funny,” Mark said, snatching the envelope from Trey. “Just give me the details.”

The End

Supernatural Fairy Tales

The Vampire’s New Suit is one of the short stories from my collection: Supernatural Fairy Tales. The Kindle eBook will be Free August 5, 2014. 

Fairy tale inspired paranormal short stories.

fairy tale + paranormal element = supernatural fairy tale.

These 9 Supernatural Fairy Tales are not retellings of the original fairy tales but were inspired by them. They are paranormal themed stories about vampires, ghosts, mermaids, witches, and more, in genres ranging from romance to thriller. And fair warning: they don’t always have a happy ending.

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